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Nika Son


Label: VIS

Format: LP

Genre: Experimental

In process of stocking


Tip! To get a good handle on ‘Aslope’ look no further than the intricate ‘Scattered sprinkle, no turn’, a 12+ minute collage of moonlit organ vamps, stifled voices and disembodied, robotic poems. Heaving from smeary abstraction to penetrable drama almost imperceptibly, featherlight rhythms are cut short by uncanny voices: “stop, turning, a page,” like some rogue navigation assistant, slicing into ticking clocks and xerox noise. It’s like listening to a film without access to the visuals - all the foley sound remains (car blinkers, trains passing, conversations) and we’re left puzzling over what may or may not be happening. The only context provided is from Nika Son herself, who says that although the album doesn’t have a consistent theme, the link is that each piece is inspired by the night’s “capability to shift our perception and memory”.

It comes off like a crepuscular sketchbook of ideas and themes that coalesce into a bumpy, endlessly rewarding sonic landscape. Son’s more bite-sized compositions are just as mind-altering. ‘Trinsar Gobble’ is one of the record’s more twitchy tracks, replete with thrumming, inhuman polyrhythms that skitter around booming thuds, French voices and oscillating, filtered synths. It’s music that defies simple categorisation - Son doesn’t tie herself to any particular type of identifiable expression or another. The music sounds as if it’s evolved outside expected contemporary influences: there are no knowing nods to early electronic innovators. Rather, Son follow her own nose, using the sonic characteristics of each element to draw us into an elusive personal narrative. On ‘It’s just a cucumber’, environmental recordings are edited just enough to enhance the illusion, before voices curl and decompress into rousing bass womps and unmetered rhythms prickle around punkish shouts.

The use of voices is omnipresent throughout, even when they’re not there, they sound close: on ‘La nuit tombe’, they’re muffled behind echoing footsteps and creepy synth wails, and on ‘Gelbes Feld’, incomprehensible chatter envelopes cricket chirps and b-movie arpeggios. Many artists have tried to map out the dreamworld using sound, but Nika Son manages to make music that genuinely feels in-between worlds, capturing those seconds before vivid memories slip away from the mind’s eye.

Cat. number: V I S 011
Year: 2024